Jared (USA), Tattoo Artist, Berlin

“I moved to Berlin about 9 years ago to work in my uncle’s fast food restaurant called White Trash Fast Food. Next to the restaurant is a tattoo shop, also owned by my uncle, called No Pain, No Brain. I’ve always taken an interest in drawing and tattoos, so I quit my job waiting tables and started working as a tattoo artist instead.

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It took me some time to adapt to living in Berlin. I was born in California and grew up in Salt Lake City, so I was used to see some nature around me. Berlin is greyer; it doesn’t calm me like my hometown did. And then there’s the difference in mentality. For starters, if you go out to get groceries in Salt Lake, there’s a big chance you’ll have a conversation with a random stranger. Even more than in the rest of the States, since there are a lot of Mormons where I come from. You try that shit in Berlin, walk up to someone you’ve never seen before and start talking, and people will think you’re crazy. Or on drugs. On the other hand, Americans are simpler people. I wouldn’t say dumber, but they’re more ignorant. Just look at the election last year. They deliberately chose that guy, can you imagine?

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In terms of partying and going hard, Americans and Germans aren’t so different. They say Germans drink a lot, but I haven’t had any trouble keeping up! Although I have to say, as I grow older the hangovers aren’t getting any better. A couple of years ago I could drink and party all night without regretting it the next morning. Nowadays I have hangovers that last for 3 days. Every once in a while I have these detox-months, during which I try to eat healthy and stay away from booze and drugs. That way I can go hard again for a while, without feeling too guilty.

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The main reason for me to stay in Berlin? Well, about four and a half years ago I met my girlfriend Fanny. My friends wanted to go to this club in Berlin, but I wasn’t feeling it that night. They basically forced me to go and that’s when I met her. She walked by and we made eye contact. We kissed later that night and have been going strong ever since. This summer we’re going to travel Europe in our van. Fanny just finished decorating it! I’m looking to do some guest spots in tattoo shops and we’re going wherever the road takes us. First stop is Amsterdam and its coffee shops; afterwards we’re probably doing Spain. If we ever get out of Amsterdam, that is!”

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